Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oracle: RMAN Backup types

Recently one of my client asked this question “ What are the benefits of using RMAN backup and what type of backup it supports.” Here I have explained the answer in detail.

Recovery Manager(RMAN) is an Oracle inbuilt utility that efficiently backup and restore the database. It optimizes database performance and free you from running long SQL * Plus scripts. Recovery manager provides a command line interface that directs Oracle server to take backup of database it is connected to. The RMAN utility is different from normal OS backups because it store the backup in its own backup catalog.

Benefits of using RMAN backup:

1. Simplifies administrative tasks.
2. Simple command line interface.
3. Reduce human errors.
4. It keeps track of all the backup.
5. Supports incremental backups.
6. RMAN can very work very well with third party media management product like Veritas Netbackup.
7. Using RMAN you can test the backups even without restoring them.
8. It automatically detects new tablespaces and datafile.
9. During recovery it also detects errors.

RMAN backup types:

Full database backup: It is the backup of every allocated block in database file. In full backup an image copy of every data block is being created. You can store these image copies only on disk. Full database can be taken in ARCHIVELOG or NONARCHIVELOG mode.

Incremental database backup: An incremental backup can be of two types. One is level 0 backup and another is level 1 backup. Level 0 backup includes only those blocks that have been changed since the last “parent backup”. Level 1 backup include all data blocks in the file except empty blocks and it is similar to full backup.

Consistent database backup: The consistent backup is taken when database is in consistent state. To take the consistent backup of whole database you first need to close the database with the NORMAL, IMMEDIATE or TRANSACTIONAL commands.

Inconsistent database backup: The inconsistent backup is taken when database is in consistent state. It is usually taken after a failure, abort and shutdown command.

Open database backup: Open backup is taken when the database is running or in online mode.

Closed database backup: Closed backup is taken when the database is shutdown or in offline mode.

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